Migraines are extremely debilitating. The most migraine sufferers can often do is manage the headaches, treat or prevent them. Many are constantly looking for a long term solution to the pain.
Migraines cause severe, disabling headaches that it renders a person unable to do any task. The migraine sufferer also experiences nausea, vomiting, and photosensitivity. This can last for hours or even days.
Without a cure, the most a migraine sufferer can do is find ways to deal with the headache and lessen its occurrence and triggers. Here, we talk about the causes and triggers.
The Cause of Migraines
The cause of migraines due to genetics is not totally understood, but the observation is that 80-90% of those who suffer migraines have family members who also do. However, it can also develop even without the genetic factor.
Researchers are looking into the physiological and biochemical causes of migraines. The brainstem’s interaction with the trigeminal nerve which is a major pain pathway is a possibility. Another will be the imbalance of the brain’s biochemicals, such as serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
Knowing what triggers this will help one avoid attacks. So what are they?
The Triggers of Migraine Attacks
- Sleep habits – too much of it or missing sleep can trigger an attack.
- Strong light, sounds and odors – People who are hypersensitive to sensory stimuli, such as bright lights, loud sounds, and certain strong odors.
- Foods/Food Additives – Processed foods and additives can trigger migraines.
- Drinks – Caffeine is a possible trigger, and more so alcoholic drinks
- Medications – Nitrates, birth control pills, NSAIDs; some hormonal medications
- Physical activities – any activity involving intense exertion can start a migraine attack.
- Weather or external atmospheric pressure change
- Hormonal changes – this is particularly so in women
Your Migraine Management Options
There are several medications available to resolve migraine headaches
- Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophens or Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
- A new drug class was approved in 2018 for chronic migraine, it is called a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R) antagonist and is a periodic injection.
Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
Avoid foods and drinks that trigger your migraine headaches. Some patients report specific foods that set migraines off, but staying away from processed foods or sugar is a good start. Sleep enough and maintain an active lifestyle. Managing stress well also is a plus.
Acupuncture as a treatment option for migraines is worthy of consideration because it is a more natural course. We all know that many medications somehow have an impact on the liver, which is why acupuncture for migraines has been looked into.
There is in fact a resource online to back this up. In 22 trials involving 4985 subjects, the results show that acupuncture does reduce migraines.
Migraines are extremely disruptive and debilitating. Know what triggers your migraine attacks and avoid them. Lead a healthy lifestyle. If you are hypersensitive and easily prone to attacks, you may want to consider acupuncture for migraines with a Licensed Acupuncturist.